Fun Lists

Brilliant Debut Fantasy Books (Wyrd and Wonder)

“The circus arrives without warning.”

First line in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Hi, guys. As you may know, it’s not the easiest thing to write a book. Several authors just has to find their footing when starting out. Others write true masterpieces in their first try like it’s no big deal, and it’s those I want to highlight today.

Most of the books I’ll mention here are bestsellers but what they all have in common is that they are the first book published by their author. And they are all fantasy, of course. They are all some of my favorite books so enjoy!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Dreams and reality blend together in The Night Circus in which Morgenstern shows that there are no limitations to our imagination. Especially not to hers. Through stunning writing, she unfolds the story of a magical duel that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

A highly detailed world is the backdrop for some ingenious criminal activities that will have you rooting for the perpetrators. Not for the faint-hearted, this book gives you a dark and gritty atmosphere but will still shine some light in form of true acts of friendship.

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith

The Library of the Unwritten provides a story with a unique concept where book characters are able to come alive, otherwise known as every reader’s dream come true. It’s an emotional story about a battle between Heaven and Hell that also gives you deep and flawed characters to love with all of your heart.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

An urban fantasy story that still gives you comprehensive world building with a creative magic system. Clare introduces the reader to the world of the Shadowhunters that has all the monsters but also the most swoon worthy romances.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind tells the first part of the character Kvothe’s life story through an immersive writing style. With the promise of an epic tale to come, Rothfuss sets several plot points in motion in this first book in a trilogy.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Step into the Trojan war through this retelling of the lives of the almighty Achilles and his friend Patroclus. Told through the eyes of Patroclus, Miller weaves a beautiful story about true love and destiny that will intrique anyone with an interest in Greek mythology.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

A high-stakes adventure inspired by ancient Rome that follows the slave, Laia, as she fights a brutal system to save her brother. Sabaa Tahir doesn’t hold back when depicting the horrors of this cruel world, and it will have the reader on the edge of their seat all the way through.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon is a must-read for anyone who can’t get enough of dragons. Paolini has crafted a vast world with interesting characters (and dragons) which gives the reader a highly entertaining reading experience.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

A highly atmospheric read that take a closer look at small town mentality when children start disappearing and the stranger in the village is the only suspect. Schwab provides at fairy tale-esque writing style when telling this gripping story about witches and magic rooted in nature.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale will transport the reader to a snow-covered forrest in Russia with its vivid depictions of nature and atmosphere. Following the girl Vasya as she grows up, Arden explores Russian folklore but gives it a fantasy twist.

These are just a few of the awesome fantasy debuts out there. I haven’t read everything so please share your favorites in the comments if you feel they’re missing from the list. Happy reading!

11 thoughts on “Brilliant Debut Fantasy Books (Wyrd and Wonder)

  1. I really want to pick up The lies of Locke Lamora and The library of the unwritten!
    I totally agree with The name of the wind and An ember in the ashes, those are amazing debuts!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still can’t believe that Paolini was only 17 (I believe) when he wrote Eragon. The Night Circus is one of my favourite books, it’s mad that people can write such fantastic novels for their debuts

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love The Song of Achilles. ❀ It's one of my favourites. I love The Lies of Locke Lamora, too, and I really enjoyed The Bear and the Nightingale. I'd like to try The Name of the Wind and The Near Witch, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Song of Achilles is so amazing! Great to hear that we have so many favorites in common πŸ˜€ I hope The Name of the Wind and The Near Witch will be great for you too.


  4. Great list! I liked The Song of Achilles but I wasn’t over the moon about it. I haven’t read the others, but I would like to recommend Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, which is one of my all-time favorites, & A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell but seems like so many people love that one dearly. Hadn’t heard of A Stranger in Olondria but just read the synopsis and I think I need to add that one to my tbr. So thank you! πŸ˜€


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